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Children were left crying and traumatised after a school role play in which one of their teachers was apparently shot dead in the playground. The pupils, aged ten to 13, saw their religious education teacher run across a field and fall to the ground following a loud bang. Some were so upset that they were sick afterwards, parents said. The stunt was part of a science lesson designed to teach children how evidence is collected in criminal investigations. They were not told it was fake until ten minutes after the event. Last night Blackminster Middle School, in Evesham, Worcestershire, apologised to parents and admitted it had gone too far.
More than 300 pupils were called to the hall and warned there was a gun somewhere in the school before being sent back to their classrooms. Five minutes later, the fire alarm went and the children queued up in the playground. Only a handful knew it was fake. Three teachers – one brandishing what looked like a gun – were seen running across the school field before shots were heard. Teacher Richard Kent fell to the ground and played dead. The children were then ushered back to their classrooms as other teachers pretended to tend to Mr Kent.
It was ten minutes before it was revealed the scene was fake. Parents said that for some pupils – including a girl whose father was apparently shot dead several years ago – the reassurance came too late. Vikki Woosey, whose son is in year six, said: ‘When I heard about it I just thought “Oh my God, that is so inappropriate”. It left some of the pupils terrified. A mother, 33, who has a stepdaughter at the school, added: ‘The children thought they were watching their teacher gunned down and were waiting for the same to happen to them. Pupils were missing the bus home because they were consoling each other.